I haven’t sat down to truly write since I was in college. I’ve done some scattered journaling here and there, but nothing of any real substance. My plan for this blog is for it to be a creative outlet for me. I want to challenge myself to be a better writer and storyteller. Sometimes my posts will be about myself or what’s going on in my life or it may be a short story I’ve been working on. Who knows? I appreciate you taking the time to read through this and I hope you get some enjoyment out of it!
Yesterday I finished a production of “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” at The Green Room Community Theatre in Newton, NC. Our final performance was a well attended success!
“Chitty” can very easily be passed off as a “Mary Poppins” esque knockoff. The plot doesn’t always make sense, the songs are cheesy at times. One could very easily watch it and think “Well, that was fun” and not put anymore thought into it. I was one of those people when I first started rehearsing. I didn’t think much about it. All I knew going into it was that it had something to do with a car and at one point they sing a very repetitive song that I knew would be stuck in my head until my 90th birthday. However, through the rehearsal process, I found a much deeper meaning in both the show as well as Community Theatre in general.
“Chitty” at its heart is about family. In the beginning of the show we meet Caractacus Potts and his two children Jeremy and Jemima. We learn that Potts’ wife has passed away and he and his father are taking care of the children. Through a series of twists and turns, and some theatre magic, Caractacus and Truly Scrumptious end up together and presumably live happily ever after. Again, not the most compelling story. But it’s not the story that I found so interesting. It’s that the show reminds audiences to not lose their imaginations.
There is very little room in today’s society for imagination. In schools, arts programs are slashed left and right and more STEM programs are added. All that matters is that each student passes their EOGs. I have seen so many wonderful teacher try to keep imagination and wonder in their classrooms, but they are so bogged down with preparing for various tests that it is almost impossible to balance the two. “Chitty” reminds us just how important our imaginations are. They are what make life interesting. I am so grateful that my childhood was filled with books and having adventures with my friends and not screens. I am also thankful for theatre. It too keeps my imagination alive. Just this year I have been a wooden puppet, a Prince, and, most recently, a Childcatcher!
I am so very lucky to have The Green Room in my life. It has given me a sense of purpose and has opened the door to meeting so many wonderful people. Doing this show reaffirmed my love of theatre. It happened during one of our school shows. I was sitting in the Blackbox waiting for our next show and I looked around at all of the people in our wonderful cast. No one was getting paid, in fact, I’m sure some people were taking a pay cut just to be in this show. No one was forced to be there. There was no obligation. Only love. Love for our community, love for the show, and love for each other. I hope each and every one of you gets to experience this powerful feeling at some point in your life because it is magical.
I know this post is a little all over the place, but hey, it’s my first post and I’m feeling a little emotional right now. Thanks for reading!